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Russia moves to contain Siberian fuel spill after state of emergency declared

June 05/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian emergency services are working June 4 to contain a major fuel spill at a power plant near the city of Norilsk after President Vladimir Putin declared a statement of emergency following the leak, said S&P Global.

Products spilled from a reserve fuel tank on May 29, resulting in damage both onshore and offshore in the local area. The tank contained 21,163 mt of diesel, Sergei Lipin, head of plant owner NTEK, a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel said June 3, during a government meeting on the spill.

Oil spills are a frequent occurrence in Russia. Natural resources supervisor Rosprirodnadzor estimates that in 2019 there were 819 oil spills, covering a total area of 93.6 hectares.

Russia's emergencies ministry is currently trying to localize the spread of the spill, install oil booms and collect oil products, contaminated water and soil, emergencies minister Evgeny Zinichev said during the government meeting, according to a statement on the Kremlin website. He added that 100 mt of oil products and contaminated soil have already been collected.

Rosprirodnadzor estimates that the contamination includes 6,000 mt of oil products onshore and a further 15,000 mt in the water.

The clean-up operation, which began June 1 is hampered by the region's remote location, and a lack of access roads or river navigation options. Zinichev also said that the ministry was not informed until 2 days after the incident occurred.

Natural resources minister Dmitry Kobylkin said the clean up operation will likely include reagents and burning spilled fuel. "We must try to extract the fuel as much as possible, mix it with the appropriate chemical reagents, and, where that is completely difficult, probably to burn something. But such a bonfire on such an area, of such an amount, will be a big problem, in my opinion," he said.

Energy Minister Alexander Novak suggested Russian oil companies could provide support in managing the spill. Russia's Investigative Committee is launching an investigation into the incident.

As MRC informed earlier, the Russian energy ministry expects the global oil market to balance in June or July as a result of rising consumption, as well as the drop in production in OPEC+ and other countries.

As MRC informed earlier, China's crude oil imports from Russia rose 17.7% year on year to 7.2 million mt or 1.76 million b/d in April, resulting in Russia overtaking Saudi Arabia to become the country's top supplier in the month.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 557,060 tonnes in the first three month of 2020, up by 7% year on year. High density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments rose because of the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. Demand for LDPE subsided. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market was 267,630 tonnes in January-March 2020, down 20% year on year. Homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers accounted for the main decrease in imports.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, PP, PE, petrochemistry.
Category:General News
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